Growing up in an Italian family, a majority of our meals consisted of pasta (any type, we weren’t picky), homemade tomato sauce, and cheese. Lots and lots of cheese. Dinner on Sundays was always spaghetti. My parents had four mouths to feed, and pasta was the most available and cheapest dish to fill everyone up.
My fondest memories are of cooking with my Pappy. He was as Italian as it comes. The smell of basil still reminds me of his garden outback. He had so many herbs growing and a lot of fresh tomato plants. He was always willing to show me how to make his favorite dishes. I used to come over to his house and we would make fresh pasta, ravioli, and sauce. It’s because of him that I went to culinary school. Cooking to me is more than just a chore. It fills me with so much joy. I love spending time in the kitchen, cooking food that everyone loves.
Now since eliminating gluten from my diet, not to mention nightshade vegetables (including tomatoes), I was upset to think I could never have pasta and sauce again! Fortunately, today there are hundreds of gluten-free products out there. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at new products and trying them out. I’ve found some delicious gluten-free pasta products. My favorite ones are from Cappello’s and Banza. I’ll post some reviews on these products later. Their taste and consistency are, in my opinion, spot-on to regular pasta. It’s not gummy or gritty.
For my gluten-free chicken parmigiana, I typically use gf bread crumbs, but this night I was out of them. So I took some gf simple mills sea salt crackers and pulsed them up in my food processor and created my own gf “bread” crumbs. They worked fantastically!
I always start by pounding my chicken out flat. I then coat the chicken in gf flour (I used otto’s cassava flour), eggs or coconut milk (if I don’t want to use eggs), and the pulsed gf crackers.
The secret here is just to brown the chicken in the pan and then finish it off in the oven. This allows the breading to get nice and golden. By finishing it in the oven, the chicken will cook all the way through without overcooking the bread crumbs.
I try not to eat tomatoes often, but with this dish, it wouldn’t be right to leave it out!
Serve your chicken parmigiana with your choice of pasta and a glass of excellent red wine!